Monday, November 12, 2007


I am a woman of obsessions. (Note the plural.) That might seem strange to those of you who can't imagine what it would be like to be consumed by the need to make something, try something, do something, even when you know darn well you don't need it, nobody you know wants it, and you may not even want it yourself. But you GOTTA have it, right now!

Okay, that's a normal day at the beach for me. So, if it's incomprehensible to you, you can just exit out of here and no one's feelings will be hurt.

Much of this year has been consumed by an obsessive need to knit lace. Now somehow I've gotten through 45+ years of knitting with only an occasional desultory nod to the yarnover crowd. I don't wear lace. I'm not a lace person. I'm more the tailored type. I have no desire to look like I'm wearing Aunt Tillie's antimacassar on my shoulders. Neither of my daughters is the lace type--both would probably barf in their socks if I suggested they wear a lace shawl. Three granddaughters and none of them are lacy, though that could change with time.

But this year the Lace Light is fully ON and I have amassed a huge (and still growing) bucket of laceweight yarn, and a 3" binder full of lace patterns. I am knitting lace. Why, you ask? No clue. But lace is my new thing, and I'm powerless over it. Must knit lace.

I suspect that if I have one thing in common with Cat Bordhi, that's it. We are both obsessed. I think that's where the similarity ends. She's obviously on the inventor side; I'm merely a respectful end user. But now her obsession is feeding mine. Not a good thing.

Cat was in Atlanta last week and I went to a guild meet 'n greet at Knitch for her. (Unfortunately, I couldn't take either of her classes -- maybe after I'm gainfully employed again.) Cat spoke for about 90 minutes, mostly about herself and the way she works, and about her new sock book. She may have mentioned the word "moebius" but she certainly didn't dwell on it--she was all about her new sock designs. Of course, I bought the sock book and I will try them--they're truly innovative, if a little odd, and I will make at least some of them.

Then Ellen showed up at the Noble Knitters wearing a moebius and knitting another one. They were made of Noro Kureyon and, while beautiful, they were not my style, not my taste, and, frankly, made my neck feel like I'd contracted St. Vitus Disease. Interesting, I thought. Wonder why she's bothering with those things, I thought, given that there's all that lace still to be knit.

So why, why, why, am I now obsessed with making one myself? Couldn't tell you. What I can tell you is that yesterday I bought Cat's Magical Knitting book and not one, but two, sets of yarn for moebieuses (or moebiei, as it were). One yarn is just as red as it is soft and fluffy--100% alpaca--for a light, airy moebius, a cloud to float around my neck. The other is neutral, tailored wool and bamboo from Rowan, for a more professional wear-to-work moebius.

In the meantime, there's just this one little tiny glitch. The famous Cat Bordhi moebius caston. Now, you might imagine that, having bought the book, it would be clear. Clear as tar, in my opinion. Cast on, ripped out. Cast on, ripped out. At least I took Ellen's advice to use crap yarn for this process.

So I Googled the caston and found videos of Cat doing every other thing you can imagine--the woman has more videos on YouTube than Paris Hilton. Cat casts on a sock with someone else's caston method, Cat knits a sock, Cat twists a stitch to the left or right, Cat scrapes a carrot. You name it, Cat's got a video of herself doing it. But not the dreaded caston because then we might not buy the wretched book. (Which, by the way, has typos--as a former editor, this drives me nuts, and I can't even blame her worthless publisher because she self-publishes. Cat, I'm begging you, get a proofreader!)

But she IS a genius, and we'll cut her some slack for things like typos. Geniuses get a walk on that sort of thing.

Finally, on the DIY site, I found a written description of how to do the caston, and it clicked, somewhat. So now I'm playing with it, trying to figure out whether I've got it right or not. And it drives me nuts that I'm effectively swatching with crap yarn while I try to understand it, and wasting time I could be using to knit with that fabulous red alpaca. And that's another difference between Cat and me--she's apparently got the patience of Job for understanding all the nuances of a technique; I just want it to work NOW.

And, Cat, please put the "Cat does the caston" video on YouTube along with the videos of you doing all the other household tasks. You didn't lose readers when we all learned how to knit socks on two circulars--it just got us all excited to see the next thing you'll invent. And seeing that caston will make us want to knit all the variations in the book--I promise!

In other OCD news, why am I also obsessed with making the Modern Quilt shawl from Interweave Knits? It's not lace, I don't wear things around my neck, and I hate weaving in ends. So why, why, why? Can't tell you, but now I'm screaming around town trying to find all the colors. I'm telling you this right now, if I tell you I want to make an Alice Starmore sweater with 36 colors of Shetland, or a Kaffe Fassett sweater with 63, just call my doctor and change my meds!


ddknits said...

Hmmmmmmm. I'm searching for that fabulous Fair Isle sweater I started so I can wave it in front of you just enough so you'll get that Fair Isle bug. It's as much fun as lace because you get to play with so many fab colors while you're counting to yourself in your head.

Joyce said...

JoyceKnits said .....
Diana, when I read your blog, I hear you saying it in your voice and inflection as if you were reading it to me. So descriptive and right on!!! Obsession is the name of the game in knitting and there are no apologies to be made to the rest of us. We just have to keep employed so that we can indulge. I am obsessed with construction techniques, mostly multidirectional garments. However, I have Cat Bordhi's books on the moebius method and plan to try those, too.

Doesn't help either of us if we keep getting together and visit shops!!

Maria said...

Get in line behind my wide rear end for starting unneeded and unwanted knitting. I'm knitting a Dale of Norway sweater for a 2 year old girl. My youngest is 7 and a boy. My oldest better stick to surviving college, and not making babies!! I'm a process knitter. Knitting makes me happy. I like touching finished items. I don't even have to wear them! I love the Eyore comment! I'll have to use that one on my daughter. Don't you hate it when your kids are right!!!

Eve said...

I think we can all understand that obsession. I haven't even finished MS3, but I've bought the yarn and patterns for at least 3 more lace shawls. And I'm a blue jeans & t-shirt gal. (at least my other obsession, sock yarn, is slightly more practical.) As for the moebius, they also look great in ribbon yarn.

Kim Nickels said...

you are cracking me up...and, making me feel a little better about the 60 or so unfinished projects hanging on every doorknob in my house...thanks for recognizing that there's really no reason why we knit..other than we must...we just must..and it feels damn good!

ann said...


yarn over crowd - that's a good one, mind if I use it?

Sheri said...

Yup, you're obsessed! I love lace too, and my favorite outfit is also blue jeans and t-shirts, but, when it's chilly in "This Old House" those little lace shawls/stoles come in handy wrapped around my neck and shoulders. Can't wait to see the progress on your moebius. Always wanted to do one of those!
Sheri in (SE)GA

Knit Witch said...

Oh........I thought that being obsessive was a prereq for being a knitter! We aren't ALL obsessive????? I'm with ya on the typos - drives me nuts.

I have been knitting and crocheting for 4? 5? years and I have yet to make one single thing for myself! I keep just getting obsessed with making things for others.

Anonymous said...

cough cough -- WHAT red alpaca? You *never* mentioned red alpaca? And I have no idea why I had a sudden overwhelming need for moebius other than it only took 6 hrs to make the first one and 6 to make the one I really liked that my daughter proceeded to run off with.

And for those who think Diana just suffers nobly, albeit loudly, about my malevolent influence -- I now seem to have abandoned the Modern Quilt wrap I had 25% completed in mohair that wasn't KSH so that I can start all over again with KSH :-)

And yeah yeah I bought the same Rowan for another moebius that she did! And the green lace yarn and malabrigo ....